SLOAN Symposium

Chemistry of indoor aerosols

Aerosols and their chemistry are strongly influenced by the building environment. There are large temporal and spatial gradients in temperature and humidity in buildings, mechanical systems, interstitial spaces and even around occupants. The building shell and surfaces can attenuate infiltrated particle concentrations and alter the composition of particles via transfer of semivolatile compounds between surfaces and particles. Occupant activities such as cooking and cleaning can generate aerosols and modify existing aerosols. This session highlights recent advances in the chemistry of indoor aerosols as revealed by field and laboratory research as well as modeling.

The Alfred P. Sloan foundation Chemistry of Indoor Environments program

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation currently supports research in this area via the Chemistry of Indoor Environments (CIE) program ( Since it began in 2016, 70+ articles have been published as the result of this program. In this session, researchers supported through this program and others will present recent results from field campaigns, laboratory studies and theoretical modeling. Several field campaigns have been initiated through the CIE program. As one example, during the summer of 2018 the “House Observations of Microbial and Environmental Chemistry” (HOMEChem) study took place in a test house at the University of Texas at Austin. Researchers from 9 universities converged on this house for over a month, studying indoor chemistry from all angles. Results related to the physical and chemical evolution of aerosols, due to activities including cooking and cleaning, continues to be analyzed and the latest results will be presented. Field research from California, the US Midwest and other regions will also be presented. Also within CIE is the Modeling Consortium for Chemistry in Indoor Environments (MOCCIE) ( Models developed within this consortium of the chemistry and dynamics of aerosols are tested against experimental results from CIE investigators and others. The MOCCIE models represent the chemistry of indoor environments over a wide range of different spatial and temporal scales from sub-nanometer to tens of meters and from sub- nanosecond to days. In addition to field research and modeling, many researchers have been studying aerosols and surface phenomena associated with indoor environments, in the laboratory. These studies include chlorine chemistry (e.g. bleaching), oxidation of deposited films, hydrolysis and others.